Here's a suggestion on how to budget your time to visit the Forum and the Capitoline Museums: go to the Forum (your ticket, good for two days, will also include the Palatine Hill and Colisseum, but is only good for one entry to each) to beat the early-ish closing time of 4:30pm. Then, head up to the Capitoline Museums. Your walk will take you past the Forum of Caesar and, if you take the winding road up behind the "Typewriter" monument, you get to take in more views of the Forum from the street above. Just as you come to the Capitoline's plaza, be sure to look at the garden immediately on your right--you'll see an endearing topiary of the She-Wolf statue. Directly opposite, you see the statue again, perched atop a pillar, in miniature. Before heading off to see the real thing, I suggest you recharge your batteries with a cappuccino at the Panoramic Café (fairly easy to find--follow the signs or ask). You'll be treated to a spectacular view over Rome as the sun sets--not to mention watching the swallows as they start that evening's ritual swoop over the city.
When you're ready to begin your visit, consult the free map you would have been given when you purchased your ticket. It contains photograph "thumbnails" of most of the museums' highlights--critical to avoid feeling overwhelmed! Don't miss the Tabularium in the basement--if the timing is in your favor, you'll get yet another privileged view over the
Forum at night. The walk to the view takes you through an evocative, haunting display of funeral steles in the Epigraphic Gallery--all of which are translated into English--many of which still have the power to move you, centuries later.
All the highlights are easy to find, except the statue of the "Boy Removing a Splinter" which is not featured on the map, but is just a couple of galleries down from the She-Wolf statue.
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